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Sheik sued for alleged human trafficking

Sept. 13, 2007 at 3:25 PM

LEXINGTON, Ky., Sept. 13 (UPI) -- A lawsuit has been filed against a sheik from Dubai, accusing the member of the nation's ruling family of human trafficking and slavery.

Filed earlier this week in Lexington, Ky., the lawsuit accuses Sheik Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum of illegally trafficking in young boys and enslaving them to serve as jockeys in camel racing, The Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal said Thursday.

The suit names five unidentified boys as plaintiffs, but other plaintiffs could be added if the legal action is granted class-action status.

The suit also includes several other unnamed defendants, who allegedly assisted in the human slavery ring.

A statement from the sheik's spokesman said that the alleged acts did not take place in the United States and claimed that none of the plaintiffs or defendants are U.S. residents.

The newspaper said the lawsuit also alleged that many of the unwilling camel jockeys were victims of abuse, including sexual abuse, while in captivity.

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